Gary Sinise Foundation Executive Director Judy Otter
The foundation is also helping another St. Louis-area police officer. On August 25, 2016, Hazelwood Police Officer Craig Tudor was responding to an emergency call when his squad car was hit from an oncoming car, forcing them to completely roll over, paralyzing the officer. Through R.I.S.E., the Tudor family will receive extensive modifications to their current home, which will allow Tudor to regain his independence.
In explaining the foundation’s mission, Gary Sinise reminds us, “Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted. We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security. While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”
Other Gary Sinise Foundation programs include Relief & Resiliency Outreach, Invincible Spirit Festivals, Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band, Arts & Entertainment Outreach, Serving Heroes, and First Responders Outreach. Its latest program, Soaring Valor, is sending WWII veterans to The National WWII Museum and documenting their first-hand accounts of the war.
The FBI formally created the Director’s Community Leadership Award in 1990 as the principle means to honor individuals or organizations for their outstanding service to the local community and enduring contributions to the advancement of justice.
Past St. Louis honorees (years not listed did not have a recipient):
- 1990: Joseph Cunningham, former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player
- 1991: Martin Mathews, Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club
- 1993: The late Jean Leible, Neighborhood Activist
- 1995: Pastor Harry Douma, Camp Penuel
- 2005: Martin Mathews (two-time honoree)
- 2006: Karen Aroesty, Anti-Defamation League
- 2007: Pastor B. T. Rice, New Horizon Seventh Day Christian Church
- 2008: Dave Sinclair, Dave Sinclair Auto Group
- 2009: Bill Wilkerson, "Reach Out St. Louis!"
- 2010: Dr. Stephen Bander, Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics
- 2011: Anthony Thompson, Kwame Building Group
- 2012: Kimberly Ritter, Nix Conference & Meeting Management
- 2013: Angel Baked, a social enterprise program empowering inner city teens
- 2014: Wehrenberg Theatres
- 2015: Emerson’s Ferguson Forward Initiative